"Hurt Locker" Blasted by Soldier Jeffrey Sarver Who Claims Iraq War Story is His

"The Hurt Locker" is a film about an elite Army bomb squad unit coming together in a city where everyone is an enemy as they work in the midst of the chaos of the Iraq War. It is nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Summit Entertainment
"The Hurt Locker" (Credit: Summit Entertainment)

NEW YORK (CBS) During last night's Oscar-winning speeches, "Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal took great pains to thank the brave men and women serving in Iraq for the success of their film. But at least one of them claims that the movie stole his life story and defamed him by portraying him as an emotionally damaged soldier.

The lawsuit is filed by Master Sgt. Jeffrey S. Sarver, who, according to the New York Times, was serving in an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (E.O.D.) unit in which Boal was embedded in Baghdad in 2004. Boal was on assignment for Playboy magazine.

Sarver claims that the movie's main character, Will James, played by Jeremy Renner, was based on him, which he might not have minded had they portrayed him in a more positive light.

The suit says the movie is an  "exploitation of a real-life, honorable, courageous and long-serving member of our country's armed forces, by greedy, multibillion-dollar 'entertainment' corporations." 

Sarver is seeking $450,000 to make the hurt go away.

For his part, Boal, who won the Oscar for best original screenplay, says he interviewed over 100 soldiers for the script and did not base the character on Sarver.

"Like a lot of soldiers, he identifies with the film, but the character I wrote is fictional," he told the Los Angeles Times. "The film is a work of fiction inspired by many people's stories."

He also said "Sarver is a brave soldier and a good guy." 

The full lawsuit is here.

The "Hurt Locker" took home six Oscars on Sunday night including best picture, best director, and best screenplay.

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